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Replica gun near Valencia High School prompts swift response

Posted: May 20, 2014 1:31 p.m.
Updated: May 20, 2014 1:31 p.m.

A man and woman detained briefly near Valencia High School show the two replica guns that were in their car when it was stopped by Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies on Tuesday.

 

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies detained a young couple at gunpoint near Valencia High School Tuesday morning in response to reports they were seen shooting at signs from their moving car, a lieutenant said.

Deputies released the 20-year-old driver and the passenger, his 18-year-old girlfriend unconditionally, without incident and without charges being filed when they found the couple in possession of a pink-and-black toy gun fitted with an orange tip.

At 11 a.m., deputies in six black-and-white sheriff’s vehicles stopped the black Volkswagen hatchback in the parking lot of the Carl’s Jr. restaurant on Dickason Drive, Lt. Mark Hershey said.  

“They were stopped and detained,” he said. “Deputies found an Airsoft (replica) gun.

“The big concern for us was that this all happened near two schools,” he said. “Also this was 45 minutes before lunch, so the restaurants were probably very crowded.

“And, of course, the fear was that it could be like the (Saturday incident) with the BB gun,” Hershey said, referring to an alleged weekend road rage incident in which a 22-year-old woman suffered a serious eye injury from a BB gun pellet.

A 28-year-old Valencia man was arrested on Monday in connection with that alleged road rage incident.

Tuesday’s incident began when deputies received reports from an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer that a car occupant was shooting at signs from a moving car, he said.

They began following the couple westbound on Decoro Drive, south on Copper Hill Drive, east on Smyth Drive and onto Dickason Drive where they stopped the suspect car south of Valencia High School and across from Legacy Christian Academy.

The experience proved to be a stressful one for the detained couple, said the young man and woman who were stopped.

“They didn’t need to conduct as big a response as they did,” said the driver, who did not want to be identified.

“They started following us and then, all of sudden, there’s a bunch of cop cars around us,” he said. “They were yelling ‘Turn off the engine’ and ‘Put your hands out’

The young woman said she put her arms through the car’s open sun roof.

“I said ‘What am I being pulled over for?’ and she wouldn’t give me an answer,” the driver said. “She (the deputy) comes up and finds a pink Airsoft gun in the front seat.”

When deputies searched the car they also found a replica handgun in the rear compartment of the hatchback. That replica, however, had no distinguishing orange tip at the end of its barrel.

“The (deputy) asked me ‘What’s the difference between this gun and my gun?,’” the driver said.

The deputies’ response should send a clear message to those with replica or toy guns, Hershey said: “You don’t go messing around with guns, especially near a school.” 


jholt@signalscv.com
661-287-5527
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt
 

Comments

17trillion: Posted: May 20, 2014 1:51 p.m.

“The (deputy) asked me ‘What’s the difference between this gun and my gun?"

Ahhhh.....bullets? The ability to kill someone? Brilliant question officer!

I once had a briefcase stolen from my trunk with a 9mm in it. I reported it and the cops came out and one of them asked me why I had a gun. I told him it was the same reason as him having a gun. He didn't appreciate my candor.


Rocketeer: Posted: May 20, 2014 2:04 p.m.

If the "authorities" spotted a gun-shaped cloud over a school would they lock-down the school, deploy SWAT, and give every student a one week suspension?

Probably. And CNN would cover the incident for weeks.


17trillion: Posted: May 20, 2014 2:14 p.m.

But Rocketeer....IT'S THE CHILDREN!


Vtown123: Posted: May 20, 2014 2:16 p.m.

Sounds like the police did a good job. Suspect a gun? Get lots of backup in the event of a shootout. Strength in numbers. Why would you carry a bb gun? If someone pointed either one of those guns at me, they'd be eating a .45 at 845 feet/second...


Anthony8677: Posted: May 20, 2014 2:39 p.m.

@Vtown123... bro...you are so cool.


Vtown123: Posted: May 20, 2014 3:17 p.m.

Thanks?


johnnyrock: Posted: May 20, 2014 3:32 p.m.

These so called "kids" are old enough to know not to do this, don't they ready the damn papers or listen to the news? People get shot and killed because of "fake" guns. And then to act like they are shooting in a moving vehicle...not very bright.


chefgirl358: Posted: May 20, 2014 3:34 p.m.

“They didn’t need to conduct as big a response as they did,” said the driver, who did not want to be identified. Ummm, wrong! What if it HAD been a real gun and maybe these people were parolees and started shooting at deputies? Cops (rightfully so) NEVER want to underestimate a call regarding persons with firearms. Thankfully this turned out to be totally fine, but what are these people doing pointing guns (even airsoft guns) out the window of a car? They really don't think that might alarm someone and cause a ruckus? Really? C'mon, they should know better than that, that's just common sense! Next they'll say they should be able to leave an empty package unattended at the airport. The times we live in now are very different than they were 20 years ago. You have to be more aware of how others will perceive your actions. --edited.


bobforte: Posted: May 20, 2014 3:57 p.m.

"They began following the couple westbound on Decoro Drive, south on Copper Hill Drive, east on Smyth Drive and onto Dickason Drive where they stopped the suspect car south of Valencia High School and across from Legacy Christian Academy." "The deputies’ response should send a clear message to those with replica or toy guns, Hershey said: “You don’t go messing around with guns, especially near a school.”

Don't mess around with guns, especially near a school, but go ahead a stop suspects you believe to be armed in front of a school. Real smart there guys.


Vtown123: Posted: May 20, 2014 5:16 p.m.

They weren't in front of the school. You did read your quote, right bobby?


DMeyer: Posted: May 20, 2014 6:11 p.m.

Some people are having a hard time differentiating who messed up in this scenario.

The idiots were the ones driving around with replica guns in a black VW, the good guys were the ones in the black and white cars wearing tan and green uniforms. The idiots in the VW were lucky to get a warning, it could have been a lot worse for them.


bobforte: Posted: May 20, 2014 7:33 p.m.

Yes I did Vtown. The quote says they stopped them across from Legacy Christian School. Or didn't you read it correctly. Across from legacy means in front of to me. The title of the article suggests the Sheriffs responded quickly because someone had a replica gun near a school. It would make sense then not to stop the people near a school. Eagerly awaiting your cute response.


Vtown123: Posted: May 21, 2014 11:05 p.m.

If it was in front of the school, they would have said so. In the Carl's Jr. parking lot is not in front of a school.


Unreal: Posted: May 21, 2014 10:58 a.m.

You are allowed to carry BB guns in your car. It was stupid to show it through the window which I am sure they did since others saw that they had them.

some people can't get over the idea that we can carry a gun in our car if done correctly, and we can have a BB gun too. You just have to be responsible about it.


DMeyer: Posted: May 21, 2014 11:41 a.m.

@Unreal

True, but shooting at signs from the car is never a good idea.


Vtown123: Posted: May 21, 2014 1:01 p.m.

Well said, Unreal. Gun = locked container, unloaded, but with a full magazine sitting right next to it.


Unreal: Posted: May 21, 2014 1:21 p.m.

I am glad the deputies did not go out of the way to create a record for these kids. That is the way I want to see our kids in SCV treated. Stop them, warn them, and if reasonable let them go.


Vtown123: Posted: May 22, 2014 9:35 p.m.

I don't know unreal... They're 18 and 20. At what point do we stop calling them kids and hold them responsible?


chefgirl358: Posted: May 22, 2014 8:15 a.m.

Hopefully they learned their lesson and don't do anything that stupid again, they got lucky this time.


Unreal: Posted: May 22, 2014 10:25 a.m.

30



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